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Cnemaspis assamensis DAS & SENGUPTA, 2000

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Assam Day Gecko 
SynonymCnemaspis (Cnemaspis) assamensis DAS & SENGUPTA 2000
Cnemaspis assamensis — DAS & AHMED 2007
Cnemaspis assamensis — AGARWAL et al. 2021 
DistributionNE India (Assam)

Type locality: Mayeng Rserve Forest of Kamrup district, Assam.  
TypesHolotype: ZRC 2.4673 (Raffles Museum, Singapore) 
DiagnosisDifferential Diagnosis (compared to regional congeners). A small-sized Cnemaspis that may be diagnosed from all other congeners by the following characters. Maximum snout–vent length of 33.2 mm; dorsal pholidosis heterogeneous with enlarged conical tubercles present on flanks; enlarged conical tubercles along mandibles; nasals in narrow contact with supralabials (Fig. 4); three postnasals, separated by a single scale; chin shields are in contact with infralabials; supralabials 8–9; infralabials 7. Ventral scales smooth, imbricate, mid–ventral scale rows 18; lamellae under manus IV 16–18; under pes IV 17–20 (Fig. 5); 11–12 femoral pores, 7–8 precloacal pores, and 2–3 poreless scales in males (Fig. 6); tail segmented.
Cnemaspis assamensis differs from all other Indian congeners by the following characters. Pholidosis heterogeneous versus homogeneous in C. boiei (Gray), C. indica (Gray), C. jerdoni (Theobald), C. littoralis (Jerdon), C. wynadensis (Beddome), C. nilgirica Manamendra–Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. sisparensis (Theobald), C. kolhapurensis Giri, Bauer & Gaikwad, C. adii Srinivasulu, Kumar & Srinivasulu and C. palakkadensis Sayyed, Cyriac & Dileepkumar. Presence of enlarged tubercles on flanks versus tubercles absent in C. beddomei (Theobald), C. nairi Inger, Marx & Koshy, C. adii, C. otai Das & Bauer, C. sisparensis, C. wynadensis, C. anaikattiensis Mukherjee, Bupathy & Nixon, C. indica, C. yercaudensis Das & Bauer, C. girii Mirza, Pal, Bhosale & Sanap, C. australis Manamendra–Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. limayei Sayyed, Pyron & Dileepkumar, C. ajijae Sayyed, Pyron & Dileepkumar, C. mahabali Sayyed, Pyron & Dileepkumar and C. agarwalii Khandekar, C. kolhapurensis Giri, Bauer & Gaikwad, C. maculicollis Cyriac, Johny, Umesh & Palot, C. anamudiensis Cyriac, Johny, Umesh, & Palot, C. aaronbaueri Sayyed, Grismer, Campbell & Dileepkumar , C. chengodumalaensis Cyriac, Palot, Deuti & Umesh, C. zacharyi Cyriac, Palot, Deuti & Umesh and C. avasabinae Agarwal, Bauer & Khandekar. Presence of both femoral pores and precloacal pores versus presence of only femoral pores in C. indica, C. littoralis, C. jerdoni, C. wynadensis, C. sisparensis, C. heteropholis Bauer, C. nilgirica, C. kottiyoorensis Cyriac & Umesh, C. girii, C. flaviventralis Sayyed, Pyron & Dahanukar, C. limayei Sayyed, Pyron & Dileepkumar, C. ajijae, C. mahabali Sayyed, Pyron & Dileepkumar, C. anandani Murthy, Anandan, Sengupta & Deepak, C. amba Khandekar, Thackeray & Agarwal, C. koynaensis Khandekar, Thackeray & Agarwal, C. chengodumalaensis, C. zacharyi and C. magnifica Khandekar, Thackeray, Pal & Agarwal. Both femoral pores and precloacal pores present versus precloacal pores only in C. ornata (Beddome), C. beddomei, C. maculicollis, C. anamudiensis, C. aaronbaueri and C. avasabinae. Small-sized (SVL up to 33.3 mm) versus medium–sized Cnemaspis SVL 37 mm in C. andersonii (Annandale). Femoral pores 11–14 versus 2 in C. mysoriensis (Jerdon), 3–5 in C. gracilis (Beddome), 4–5 in C. wicksii (Stoliczka), 2–4 in C. goaensis Sharma, 3–4 in C. amboliensis Sayyed, Pyron & Dileepkumar, 4 in C. shevaroyensis (Khandekar, Gaitonde & Agarwal), 5–9 in C. thackerayi (Khandekar, Gaitonde & Agarwal), 2–4 in C. bangara Agarwal, Thackeray, Pal & Khandekar, 3 in C. graniticola Agarwal, Thackeray & Khandekar, 3–4 in C. yelagiriensis Agarwal, Thackeray, Pal & Khandekar, 2–3 in C. stellapulvis Khandekar, Thackeray & Agarwal, 3 in C. nicobaricus Chandramouli and single femoral pores in C. rishivalleyensis, Agarwal, Thackeray & Khandekar. Smooth ventral scales versus keeled in C. monticola Manamendra–Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda).
Cnemaspis assamensis differs from congeners from Myanmar by the following characters. 10–13 femoral pores and 7–8 precloacal pores versus 4–5 femoral pores and 2–3 precloacal pores in C. thayawthadangyi Lee, Miller, Zug & Mulcahy; 3–5 femoral pores and 2–4 precloacal pores in C. tanintharyi Lee, Miller, Zug & Mulcahy, and absence of precloacal pores in C. siamensis Smith (Sengupta et al. 2021).

Variation. Four male and one female specimens, ranging from 30.6 mm to 32.27 mm in SVL, were collected from Basistha. Deviations in all the specimens from the Basistha population with respect to the type are as follows: supralabials range between 7–8 from the angle of jaw (holotype: 8–9); infralabials are from 7–8 (holotype: 7); lamellae on manus 9–11 on digit I, 12–15 on digit II, 15–17 on digit III, 16–18 on digit IV and 13–15 on digit V; lamellae on pes 9–11 on digit I, 14–17 on digit II, 16–18 on digit III, 17–20 on digit IV and 14–16 on digit V (Sengupta et al. 2021).

Coloration in life. The dorsum is brownish yellow in color; dorsum of head mottled brownish and yellow; supralabials and infralabials are brownish, interspersed with yellow; black irregular squarish nuchal spot present; W-shaped brown vertebral blotches are present starting from just behind the nape and extend behind pectoral region; spine like tubercles on dorso–lateral surface of the nape, flanks brownish yellow with indistinct dark brown bars; tail similar in colour to the dorsum, with irregular dark brown bands extending up to the tail tip. Mental pale white, light yellow tinge on the edges; gular, light yellow. Ventral region off white in colour (Fig. 1B) (Sengupta et al. 2021). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Agarwal, I., Kamei, R. G., & Mahony, S. 2021. The phylogenetic position of the enigmatic Assam day gecko Cnemaspis cf. assamensis (Squamata: Gekkonidae) demonstrates a novel biogeographic connection between Northeast India and south India-Sri Lanka. Amphibia-Reptilia 42 (3): 355–367 - get paper here
  • Das, A. & Ahmed, M.F. 2007. Range extension of Assamese Day Gekko Cnemaspis assamensis DAS and SENGUPTA (SAuria: Gekkonidae). Zoos’ Print Journal 22 (6): 2730 - get paper here
  • Das, Abhijit 2016. Addition to the Herpetofauna of Royal Manas National Park, Bhutan, with six new country records. Herpetology Notes 9: 261-278 - get paper here
  • DAS, I. & LIM, K.K.P. 2001. Catalogue of herpetological types in the collection of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. Raffles Bull. Zool. 49 (1): 7-11 - get paper here
  • DAS, I. & S. SENGUPTA 2000. A new species of Cnemaspis (Sauria: Gekkonidae) from Assam, northeastern India. J. South Asian Nat. Hist, 5(1): 17-23. - get paper here
  • Das, Indraneil & Abhijit Das 2017. A Naturalist’s Guide to the Reptiles of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. John Beaufoy Publishing Ltd., Oxford, 176 pp.
  • Purkayastha J. 2013. An Amateur’s Guide to Reptiles of Assam. EBH Publishers (India) - get paper here
  • Purkayastha, J. 2018. Urban biodiversity: an insight into the terrestrial vertebrate diversity of Guwahati, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(10): 12299–12316; - get paper here
  • SENGUPTA, SHRUTI; JAYADITYA PURAKAYASTA, NITESH ANANDAN, MADHURIMA DAS, KIN ONN CHAN, CHANNAKESAVA MURTHY 2021. The odd one in: re-diagnosis and phylogenetic placement of the Assam Day Gecko, Cnemaspis assamensis Das & Sengupta 2000 (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Zootaxa 5048 (4): 581-593 - get paper here
  • Venugopal, P.D. 2010. An updated and annotated list of Indian lizards (Reptilia: Sauria) based on a review of distribution records and checklists of Indian reptiles. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2 (3): 725-738. - get paper here
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